The ‘Scrappy Trip’ continues

For what seems like the first time since the holiday season began in November, this weekend I had NOTHING scheduled for Sunday — no concerts, no neighborhood gatherings, no NFL playoff games — so I was able to spend nearly six hours sewing. Bliss.

I generally have no fewer than four different projects going at once, which isn’t really that unusual for a non-professional quilter. I’ll get inspired by something and start cutting out the project, but then I remember that I only had a few hours of work left on a project I put aside last time I sewed and I’ll decide to finish it off before continuing on the new project.

Today was no different: I had a patchwork backpack that I needed to finish off for a trip to Longwood Gardens planned for the President’s Day weekend, my “Mystery Quilt” (I had one final “clue” to complete before I could see the assembly instructions), and that “Scrappy Trip” project that I’d begun several weeks ago during my day in Cyndi’s studio.

I was feeling adventurous, so I decided to jump into the Scrappy Trip, and set myself a goal to avoid planning the blocks and just go with the flow.

Some quick background: The Scrappy Trip technique calls for 2 1/2″ x 16″ fabric strips, assembled in groups of six strips, pieced, cut and arranged to form a 12″ block. When I made my first three blocks, I was futzing a bit with the fabric strips, trying to arrange pleasing color patterns. But today I really wanted to get away from planned arrangements and come up with some more random blocks.

As you can see from these strips (step 1 of the process), I was moderately successful:

Strips of fabric

I tried to get out of “design mode” but ended up matching the green to the print on this red strip.


I was a bit more successful with the “random selection” process in this grouping.

It took me a couple of hours to cut, piece and iron the six groupings:


Can you feel the randomness?

And another couple of hours to do the strip cutting, ripping and re-piecing. As the sun was setting, I ironed my six new 12″ blocks. Here are a few:

quilt block

Here’s the block with the matching green prints…it’s OK

quilt block

This block was a bit of a disaster — I kept pulling apart the wrong squares

Now I have nine completed blocks. You can start to see how the darker fabric forms a secondary “chain” pattern, even with the blocks laid out randomly.

quilt block

Before I started, I was thinking that any square set (e.g., 4 x4, 3 x 3, etc.) would work. But now I see that I’ll need to have at least 16 squares to get a real pattern. I’m not sure that these are the right blocks. But I’ve got PLENTY of 2 1/2″ strips to work with, so I’ll just continue to play around with combinations until I get the right look and feel. And what doesn’t get used in a wall hanging will end up as a pillow, I think.


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